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A Young Person's Guide to Heartbreak

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Album Review

Emerging from the depths of the studio after three years, Battery Cage return with another round of doom and gloom industrial dance on their third release, A Young Person's Guide to Heartbreak. Similar to their second record, Guide to Heartbreak is a skillful onslaught of mechanical dance beats, metallic synthesizers, grinding guitar licks, and gritty vocals, and like the previous album it's all good and cathartic. But where the majority of 2003's World Wide Wasteland was unabashedly (and intelligently) tailored for the club crowd, Guide to Heartbreak explores darker territory with spacey ambient tracks like "We Need to Talk" and "Shot 23/24." Although there's something to be said for a minute and fifty seconds worth of lamenting females set against a somber choral arrangement, Battery Cage are generally in their element when they stick to straightforward industrial dance material. The experiments are tolerable at best; the trudging goth metal track "A Desperate Cry For Help" sags after the first couple of minutes, and the eight-minute dirge "Music To Slit Your Wrists By" is, naturally, a bit of a drag. The dancier songs on this album are fairly addictive and they show off Battery Cage's satisfyingly dark pop sensibilities; but after the first few tracks it becomes clear that Guide to Heartbreak just doesn't have anything new to say, musically or otherwise. Fans will probably dig another serving of Battery Cage's brand of grimy industrial mayhem, but those who are looking for something a tad more innovative might want to snoop around elsewhere.

A Young Person's Guide to Heartbreak, Battery Cage
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